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  National Geographic 7 Aug 07
New species of shrew and orchid found in Palawan

You can bet this is one shrew species that hasn't been tamed. The unnamed shrew (bottom) and an orchid were two new species discovered by scientists recently in Palawan, a large island in the southwestern Philippines. The small brownish-black mammal is the first shrew to be discovered in the Philippines in 40 years, and it's thought to exist only on Palawan.

Both the shrew and the unnamed white-and-gold orchid were discovered high on Mount Mantalingahan, which at 6,840 feet (2,085 meters) is Palawan's tallest mountain.

The expedition led by Conservation International (CI) Philippines also identified several other rare species previously unknown on Palawan. A pouch bat, a pin-tail parrot finch, a ground orchid, and a soft-furred mountain rat were all spotted by the scientists.

The animals will help bring attention to the area's rich biological diversity, conservationists told the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper.

"These noteworthy discoveries and rediscoveries on Mount Mantalingahan will further strengthen ... our recommendation to have ... Palawan declared as [a] protected area," CI's Romeo Trono told the newspaper. Cori Sue Morris

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